CLEARWATER - Kevin Dunbar, Clearwater's Director of Parks and Recreation, presented his Special Events budget during Monday's City Council work session; a total of $619,145 was requested, consisting of $137,500 in cash contributions and $481,645 of in-kind contributions and waivers of fees.
The budget covers seven annual City events and nineteen City co-sponsored events, including such major productions as the Fun-n-Sun Festival ($106,812), Clearwater Celebrates America - July 4th Weekend ($94,697), Iron Man 70.3 Triathlon ($84,695) and Clearwater Jazz Holiday ($79,544).
The total budget represents an increase of 22% from 2005/06, with in-kind contributions increasing $114,054, or 31%, from prior year levels. Most of the increase is attributable to two new events, the Iron Man 70.3 Triathlon scheduled for November ($84,695), and a Seafood Fest proposed for first quarter of 2007 ($16,913).
But while the City's Special Events largesse extends to such minor expenditures as Outback Beach Bowl Day ($770), Clearwater Downtown Crafts Show ($921) and Clearwater Veterans Appreciation Day ($1,000), there's no room in the budget for the Easter Bunny.
Clearwater's Parks and Recreation Department planned to charge children between $1.50 and $2.50 to participate in the annual Easter Egg Hunt, an event that beach resident Anne Garris recalled "has been free since I can remember - at least 33 years."
But on Tuesday night, the Clearwater Beach Association came to the rescue. They agreed to "co-sponsor" the event for a sum of $250. The annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held at Mandalay Park at 6pm on Friday, April 14th. Admission, courtesy of the Clearwater Beach Association, is free.
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